The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has issued a new set of materials to engage older adults and senior living personnel in learning about brain health, particularly how brain health is affected as people age.
The Brain Health Resource includes the basics about Alzheimer’s disease and managing possible risk factors.
“Although no activity or medicine has yet been shown to prevent the disease or reduce risk, some of the healthy lifestyle and chronic disease management strategies presented are good for healthy aging and may prove, with further research, to directly protect against cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease,” HHS says in a news release.
The four-part set of materials — available online — offer best practices for optimal brain functioning, including preventing falls that can lead to head injury, cutting back on excessive alcohol consumption, being well rested and managing diabetes and blood pressure.
The online materials include a powerpoint presentation, educator guide, one-page handout for older adults and a supplementary handout with key facts and resources.
“As we get older, many of us have a little more trouble recalling things quickly or reacting as fast as we used to,” says Dr. Richard J. Hodes, director of the National Institute on Aging at the National Institutes of Health. “Knowing what is normal and not normal, and — more importantly — what you can do to help keep your brain working its best can reduce fears and improve health.”
Two-thirds of the United State’s health care budget is spent on older adults with multiple chronic conditions, HHS says.
“Helping people grow older in good health — including good brain health — benefits them, their families, and their communities,” says Ursula E. Bauer, Ph.D., M.P.H., director of CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.
The NIH and CDC approved all of the information provided in the new material this year.
Access The Brain Health Resource here.
Written by Cassandra Dowell